Friday, October 12, 2007
Funny how perception can change when the ‘worm turns’. It was just a few short days ago, some of the more vocal Sadler fans were very adamant concerning the ‘flood of open wheelers’, and more importantly, the lack of experience many of these drivers have at the Cup level.
Quotes such as:
“I feel that no one, and I mean no one, should be able to come into the Cup series without a minimum of 10 starts in the truck or busch series.”
“I think any open wheeler, and like need to do some races in arca, truck, busch before jumping to cup.”
“…all drivers should start at the bottom and work their way up -- even if they're Indy or F1 champions, they still need to start way down in the ranks for stock cars and come up the good ol'-fashioned way. No one deserves a free pass to the elite level of any sport, just because they succeeded at something similar.”
“This guy had no business being on the track for the first time at Talladega of all places. There are plenty of Busch drivers out there that would have loved the chance to race but no, they have to go and get this guy.”
To be honest, these quotes do have merit and make some good points to a degree, but precedent has been set in cases like this many times over. For example, Robbie Gordon’s first Nascar start was a Daytona 500 race; with zero ‘lower series’ starts. I mentioned before that A.J. Foyt never raced a ‘lower series’ race in his career either. Just a few years ago very similar things were being said about the influx of the 'Young Gun' invasion. The simple fact that drivers from other race series are flocking to get Cup rides might tell people that the state of Nascar is really not as bad off as some want to think.
Flash forward just a couple of days with the announcement that Patrick Carpentier will drive full time for Gillett Evernham Motorsports but for some strange reason the quotes and opinions above have been forgotten. Remember, Carpentier only has THREE road course starts, and only one at the CUP level. Even if he raced every BUSCH race left on the schedule, he would not have enough starts to make the ‘ten race minimum’. But like using the Jedi mind trick, 'These are not the quotes you are searching for.... Move along.'
Then there is this quote:
“We have so many young talented drivers in the Busch series that would love a shot at a seat in cup, yet we continue to fill the seats with those from outside, so tell me again what the point of Busch Racing is?”
Interesting question considering when one looks at the current Busch points standings and count on one hand, the drivers who are not attempting to run full time at the Cup level. So I am not sure what this Sadler fan’s definition of ‘many’ truly is.
While the details of the Carpentier signing have not been very specific, it does raise a few questions and has made for some interesting internal situations at GEM. First there is the Ray Evernham quote that, "No one has told me that Patrick Carpentier is the official driver of the No. 10 car next season….Until George Gillett tells me that ... I have not signed a contract or any contract as of yet”. I don’t claim to know the org chart at GEM, but I understand that Ray no longer owns the ‘majority’ of this race team, and most likely his blessing or even knowledge of this deal is not needed.
No sponsor has been announced but chances are Carpentier will draw much attention and will be a sponsorship bonanza, especially to someone in the Great White North. I would say someone like Molson would jump at the opportunity, but I’m thinking Budweiser might frown upon that.
Then there is the dilemma of which team should get the owner points for the first six races in ’08. From a business stand point, it might be prudent to move the 19’s owner points to Carpentier, forcing a more seasoned and pretty good qualifier in Sadler to qualify his way in. If the team as a whole is where they should be, this really should be a non-issue for Sadler. Needless to say, much of this decision maybe made or at least influenced by whom ever sponsors Carpentier.
So from the greatness of South Park, why not just BLAME CANADA!!!!
After all, it will be a perfect catch all excuse for GEM in ’08 if things are not living up to expectations. I use it all the time when my TPS reports are suffering. Just Sayin.